Group shoots down boycott rumor

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SANDPOINT — Sandpoint Indivisible is spiking a rumor that it has initiated a boycott of local businesses after being excluded from the Sandpoint Lions Club’s annual Independence Day parade.

The group released a statement Friday that the boycott is a false claim making the rounds on social media. Moreover, Sandpoint Indivisible’s focus is on building community, not fracturing it.

“Sandpoint Indivisible does not support or condone boycotting local businesses based on the political views of their owners. Sandpoint Indivisible supports local businesses and local business leaders in bringing jobs and vibrancy to our local economy. We are all one community,” the statement reads.

The local chapter of Indivisible, a progressive movement in the U.S., sought to be included in the Lions Club’s Fourth of July parade, but were not allowed because the club views Sandpoint Indivisible as a protest organization.

Although the group does not paint itself with such a broad brush, it acknowledges that one of its aims is to push back against the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back advancements made in national policies on climate change and health care, among other issues.

Rachel Castor of Sandpoint Indivisible said the rumor appeared to have cropped on Sandpoint Rant and Rave, a well-trafficked Facebook page, although its exact origins remain unclear. The boycott was purportedly suggested by a member of the Sandpoint Indivisible, although the original post supposedly discovered and reposted by critics of the group cannot be found, Castor said.

Sandpoint Indivisible ultimately made its Facebook page private due to a social media backlash from conservative commentators, which Castor said is unfortunate.

“This has been a challenge, of course, because we do not want to hide and feel proud of our political opinions and our methods of engaging the community. It is unfortunate that we have had to do this to protect the identities of members who feel their teenage children could be unfairly targeted at school, or their work jeopardized simply by their political affiliations and political opinions,” Castor said in an email.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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